I’ve finally found a way to actually stick with my fitness routine and will soon be running my first half-marathon. Here’s what worked for me:
1. Set a goal. And then set another goal
I got married this summer so of course I felt pressure to shape up for the big day. Signing up for a few races helped me kick start my summer fitness. I did the Toronto Yonge Street 10K in April and the Sporting Life 10K in support of Camp Ooch in May. Now that my wedding’s over, I could fall off the wagon and ditch my regular workouts in favour of Netflicks marathons. Instead, I’m stepping up my game again and running the Nike Women’s San Francisco Half Marathon (which benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) on October 19. After that, I’ll make some new goals to work towards.
2. Enlist a workout buddy
A friend of mine lives close by, so we make regular morning run dates and plan workouts together. It’s more fun to exercise with a pal and we get a chance to catch up. Plus, it holds me accountable. Since my friend is expecting me for that 7 a.m. workout, I know I have to get out of bed and get my butt out the door.
3. Plan ahead and pre-register or pay-in-advance for classes
A few months ago I started planning my workouts a week ahead and scheduling them into my Google Calendar just like I would for any other appointment. This has made managing my time so much easier! It also helps me choose which workout classes I’ll do that week and I then pre-register for those. Since most of the fitness studios I visit require a minimum of four hours notice to cancel, there’s no last minute skipping out. If I miss the workout, I’ll lose a class that I’ve already paid for.
4. Give yourself some monetary incentive
After reading Erin Phelan’s blog about creating new habits earlier this year, I was inspired to start a ‘Fit Twoonie Jar.’ For every workout or activity I do, I put $2 in the jar. So far this year I’ve used the money saved towards wedding expenses but now that that’s over, I’ll get to use that savings towards rewards or special indulgences. A 2013 study found that financial incentives ‘ as modest as $5 per week ‘ can increase the amount of exercise people do. There’s even an app called Gym Pact that helps you earn cash for working out!
Tell me: How do you stay on track with your fitness?
‘Melissa Greer, Content Producer